Ray had found great initial success teaching using total physical response TPR , but was disappointed when his students stopped finding this technique to be interesting. He set about finding a way to combine TPR with stories, with input from Krashen and from other foreign language teachers, and the result was Total Physical Response Storytelling. Although TPR Storytelling is a growing movement among foreign language teachers, particularly in the United States, it has received little coverage in academia. In the United States the method has gained vocal support from an increasing core of language teachers, and some school districts use it exclusively in their foreign language programs. It has also been used in language revitalization programs.
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Ray had found great initial success teaching using total physical response TPR , but was disappointed when his students stopped finding this technique to be interesting. He set about finding a way to combine TPR with stories, with input from Krashen and from other foreign language teachers, and the result was Total Physical Response Storytelling.
Although TPR Storytelling is a growing movement among foreign language teachers, particularly in the United States, it has received little coverage in academia. In the United States the method has gained vocal support from an increasing core of language teachers, and some school districts use it exclusively in their foreign language programs.
It has also been used in language revitalization programs. Step one: establish meaning[ edit ] In this step the students are introduced to the new vocabulary phrases for the lesson. There is no set number of new items to be introduced in a given session; however, three is generally considered the maximum number that can be effectively taught in a lesson.
Limiting the phrases like this allows the teacher to focus on them and provide lots of repetitions for the students. If students forget what a phrase means, they can glance at the board and check the meaning at any time.
The teacher may elect to practice the new phrases using gestures, in a style modeled after traditional TPR. This gives the students the chance to get used to how the phrases sound before hearing them in context. It is also intended to keep the atmosphere of the class relaxed and conducive to learning.
To ensure these questions are comprehensible to the students, the teacher uses a variety of techniques and comprehension checks. Depending on the responses from the students and the atmosphere of the class, these questions might lead into a scene or skit often referred to as extended PQA.
The details discovered by the teacher from PQA are often used as the basis for the class story. The goal of the teacher during step one is to provide as many spoken repetitions of the new structures in context as possible. This lays the foundation for student recognition of the structures during the storytelling time. Step two: spoken class story[ edit ] In step two, students hear the three structures many times in the context of a spoken class story.
This story is usually short, simple, and interesting, and will contain multiple instances of the target structures used in context. The number of times the structures are heard is further increased by the circling questioning technique. TPRS teachers aim to say each new structure at least 50 times in the course of a story, and it is not unusual to hear those structures times.
The teacher will usually use a skeleton script with very few details, and then flesh the story out using details provided by the students in the target language, making a personalized story for each class. Using the circling technique, teachers can ask for these new details while still keeping the target language completely comprehensible.
The focus is always on the target structures, allowing the details to support those structures. The actions in the story may be acted out by volunteers from the class.
When the teacher makes a statement that advances the story plot, the actors will act out that statement and then wait while the teacher continues with the circling questions. Ideally, the actors will act in a humorous, emotional, or otherwise memorable way. This helps students to make visual and emotional connections to the new language structures they are hearing.
The story will often take place in distinct locations. The main character in the story may start off in one location with a problem that they need to solve.
They may move to a second location, where they try to solve the problem, but fail. Then they may move to a third location where they resolve the problem. This narrative device is used to maximize the repetitions of the target structures, to make the story easy to understand, and to make the target phrases easy to remember.
After the story has finished the teacher may retell it in briefer form, retell it with errors having students correct them, or ask the students to retell the story, allowing them to use the structures they just learned.
This can be in pairs, in groups, or one student retelling in front of the class. Step three: reading[ edit ] Step three is where the students learn to read the language structures that they have heard in steps one and two. A number of reading activities are used in TPRS. The first, and most common, is a class reading, where the students read and discuss a story that uses the same language structures as the story in step two. The next most common activity is free voluntary reading , where students are free to read any book they choose in the language being learned.
The other activities are shared reading and homework reading. Homework reading, as the name implies, means assigning specific reading for students to do at home. All readings in TPRS are comprehensible to the students, which means a very low ratio of unknown words if any. Class reading[ edit ] The class reading is the most common type of reading activity in TPR Storytelling. This reading is based on the story that the students learned in step two - sometimes it can be the same story, and sometimes it uses the same language structures but with different content.
Ideally, the story should be structured so that students will be able to understand most of the story on first view. The teacher will often begin the class reading by reading aloud the story, or a portion of the story, then having the students translate it into their first language. This translation could be done with individual students, or chorally by the whole class.
Translation is utilized selectively in this way as a direct method of ensuring an accurate understanding of the language meaning. As the students have already dealt with the language structures in steps one and two, they can often do this at a natural speed. This process aims to ensure that all of the students understand all of the words in the reading, as well as the meaning of the reading as a whole. Next, the class will discuss the reading in the target language.
Also, the teacher may make use of the pop-up grammar technique, where grammar points contained in the reading are explained very briefly - in 5 seconds or less. A limited number of grammar points are focused on in any particular reading and they are "popped up" frequently to enhance student retention. The discussion can touch on a wide range of topics related to the reading. Usually the teacher will ask questions about the reading itself, and about the students and their lives. Comparing and contrasting the material in the reading to the PQA and the story gives extra repetitions of the target structures.
Discussions of culture and even history are possible, depending on the content of the reading and the level of the students. The research for FVR is very strong, and has consistently shown that FVR is as good or better than taught language lessons. However, TPRS teachers often educate students about FVR in class, introducing books for them to read, and giving advice on good reading practices.
The name is intended to conjure up the image of being read to as a child, but the activity can be done with any age group. The teacher reads to the students, showing them the pictures, asking them questions, and generally making the story comprehensible.
Homework reading[ edit ] As the name implies, this is a specific reading that is assigned to all students for homework. The teacher can give a quiz on the reading when the students get back to class.
This can be used to prepare students for a class discussion, but it is usually only used with advanced students as at home the students may have no one to turn to if they get stuck. These techniques all have the same basic aim of keeping the class comprehensible, interesting, and as efficient as possible for language acquisition.
Example of circling "Dave wants a Ferrari. Students: Ooooh! Teacher: Does Dave want a Ferrari? Students: Yes. Students: Ferrari. Teacher: Class, does Dave want a Mini Cooper? Students: No. Teacher: Class, what does Dave want? It is intended to provide repetition of the target vocabulary in context and enable students to learn the vocabulary, grammar and phonology of their new language in a holistic way.
There are also more advanced circling techniques which teachers can optionally include, such as the "three for one" and false statements. If the teacher says a statement, then the students show that they understand by responding with an expression of interest such as "Oooh! If the teacher asks a question, then the students answer the question.
The point of asking these questions is not to force the students to speak; rather, the questions are a method of checking comprehension while simultaneously repeating the target vocabulary in context. Therefore, students need not worry about speaking in full sentences, and indeed this would detract from the process of concentrating on the input provided by the teacher.
By answering using single words or very short phrases the students can keep their attention focused on the words to be learned. Circling questions are always about content that has already been established. If a question is about something not yet established, then it is not considered a circling question. Consider the example on the right, "Dave wants a Ferrari.
Teacher: Where does Dave want to drive his Ferrari? Staying in bounds[ edit ] Staying in bounds means only using words that the students understand. Words that are in bounds are: Words that all the students have already learned Proper nouns that the students know Any words not in the list above are considered "out-of-bounds". If a teacher does say something out-of-bounds, then the solution is to make it comprehensible, by writing it on the board and translating it immediately. By speaking slowly, teachers give students more time to process the language and therefore they have more chance of understanding.
When students first hear vocabulary or grammar, the necessary gap between each word can be as long as two full seconds. As students get used to the language structures, the teacher can slowly increase the speed. Comprehension checks[ edit ] The most direct way of finding out if students understand the language is to ask them what it means.
In TPR Storytelling, teachers check comprehension early and often. This is intended to save them from being embarrassed about not knowing something they think everybody else understands. Finger count The students hold up their fingers to show how much they understand. This way the students can be sure of the full meaning of the sentence or question they just heard. This should not be used as an attempt to catch students out; rather it is just a check to remind students of something they cannot remember at that moment.
Pop-up grammar[ edit ] "Pop-up grammar" is the practice of making very short grammar explanations about the specific vocabulary students are learning at that moment. This technique is most often used in the class reading of step three, but it can be used at any time. This brevity is intended to keep focus on the meaning of the language as much as possible.
Fluency Through TPR Storytelling
Shelves: education , english As a Dutch ESL teacher I was searching for a new way to teach fluency speech , a skill not covered in abundance in most secondary school methods here in Holland. The title of the book Fluency through TPR Storytelling caught my attention as I saw my interest in stories combined with learning how to speak a language. As with my review on "How to Mindmap" there are two issues to be discussed: the content and how it is written, in this case TPRS and how it is explained. Both were dissatisfactory so As a Dutch ESL teacher I was searching for a new way to teach fluency speech , a skill not covered in abundance in most secondary school methods here in Holland.
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Mizuru Please share this resource: Byron Despres-Berry rated it really liked it Feb 25, The authors address common misconceptions about TPRS and expand on other things that you have probably heard about the method. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign storytrlling. One of the other annoying things of TPRS is that the books claims that half-measures will not work. Stephanni Bahr rated it really liked it Sep 01, TPR also treats the class too much as a group rather than individuals with different problems and fluency levels. It was as if I was skimming the surface without getting the opportunity to fully understand the idea behind TPR S and its practical use.
What Is TPRS?